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Sean Hannity, the Hard-hearted Hypocrite

Hannity on:

Health Insurance
Living Wage

Matthew 25:31-46
Why is Hannity a Hypocrite?

Sean Hannity, co-host of the Fox News talk show "Hannity & Colmes," doesn't even make a pretense of applying the oxymoron "compassionate conservative" to himself.

One or two viewings of the program make it obvious that any compassion for -- and desire to help -- those less fortunate than himself that Hannity might otherwise feel, is overwhelmed by the harsh ideological prism through which Hannity views the world.

While the examples are countless, a few recent episodes stand out.

Hannity on Health Insurance

For example, discussing  the national shame of over 30 million people without health insurance, Hannity gets all agitated and starts complaining that he doesn't want to hear about that, it's a distortion, it's misleading. Where are the people dying in the street? There are none. All these people have access to emergency room care. So, Hannity triumphantly concludes, saying they lack health insurance is meaningless.

Hello? First of all, claiming people lack health insurance is not claiming that they are therefore dying in the street. The false assumption and straw man that Hannity sets up and then destroys is just a typical right wing tactic to obscure the real issue.

The real issue is that without health insurance, tens of millions of Americans have to forego medical care until their condition is so bad that an emergency room visit is required. Moreover, without health insurance, the uninsured forego a myriad of preventive tests and procedures designed to catch disease early and enable effective treatment: annual check-ups for children and adults, breast cancer x-rays, colonoscopies, tests for diabetes, etc.  Deaths result.

Finally, those without health insurance inevitably forego visits to health professionals for lesser ailments. If left professionally untreated, these ailments won't kill the uninsured, but failing to treat these ailments causes much needless pain and suffering.

In short: if someone isn't dropping dead in the street, then that's good enough for Mr.  Hannity.

Hannity on a Living Wage

Another example of Hannity's hard-heartedness is his take on the living wage issue.

Hannity proclaims that he's sorry, but these people had choices in life. They didn't choose to get an education and better themselves, so they have only themselves to blame that they are in low-paying jobs. It's the result of their own free choices in life that they can't now feed their kids.

Huh? Hannity is begging the question big time. If these people had gone to school and gotten higher-paying jobs, then someone else would be in the sub-living wage job. The issue is, should anyone work a full 40 hour week and not be able to feed their children -- let alone work two full-time jobs and still come up short of money for life's necessities.

Further, why does Hannity assume that everyone could have pursued more schooling and landed higher-paying jobs? Some people don't have the intellectual ability to do so, others may have been frustrated by life circumstances beyond their control. And even if they, to use Hannity's argument, chose not to, that does not, by any stretch of logic -- let alone application of  a minimal level of compassion -- lead to the conclusion that it's appropriate for them to be paid less than a subsistence-level wage.

And of course, we're talking about this issue in the context of the richest nation the world has ever known.

Hannity on Immigration

A final example of Hannity's egregious lack of concern for the suffering of others is his reaction to the recent tragedy on the Mexican border. Fourteen Mexican citizens seeking to enter the United States without proper papers died of thirst in the desert. What a horrible death, being baked alive in 115 degree heat. The normal human reaction would be to express horror at their fate, and wonder how such tragedies can be avoided in the future.

The hard-hearted one had a different reaction. After paying a second of lip-service to the tragedy by stating he doesn't want anyone to die, Hannity then went on to badger his guest about what Hannity said really concerned him: would the guest join him in supporting the return to Mexico of any such people found alive!

On this whole issue of immigration, Hannity has a curiously self-serving attitude. A guest once asked Hannity how he could square his fixation about returning undocumented immigrants to Mexico, with the fact that Hannity's own Irish ancestors may well have come to the United States during the Irish Potato Famine to escape hunger and suffering in their homeland.

Hannity had no problem at all with that question, explaining that his ancestors entered "legally."

The guest missed the obvious follow-up: well, if the "legality" of the entry is the be-all and end-all of the analysis, then if Hannity's forebears had arrived after the Irish quota that year had been filled, would Hannity have supported sending them back to starvation in Ireland?

Mexicans who risk their life walking through vast stretches of desert are coming here for the same reason as did Hannity's ancestors -- so they can feed their families. These Mexicans are not coming here because in Mexico they own an old Honda Civic, and they want to make more money here so they can buy a late-model Mercedes.  No, it's an issue of survival.  Malnutrition, hunger and hunger-related deaths are endemic in Mexico, and that is what drives so many of these impoverished people to seek refuge and work here, often so they can send back money to their hungry families in Mexico.

But, as Hannity would argue, they're "illegal," so let's ship 'em all back.

Hannity & Matthew 25:31-46

Hannity often states that he is a devout Catholic.  With all due respect, someone needs to ask him whether his copy of the Bible has Matthew 25:31-46 torn out of it.

A brief summary of the full text of this passage would be: on Judgment Day, humanity will be divided into two groups. Jesus will tell one group they are going to Heaven because when Jesus was hungry they fed him; when he was thirsty they gave him drink; when he was a stranger they welcomed him; when he was sick they visited him; and so on. The group asks when did they feed Jesus, or give him drink, or welcome him, or visit him when he was sick, etc. Jesus replies "as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."

Then Jesus will tell the other group they are going to Hell because they did not feed him when he was hungry, give him drink when he was thirsty, welcome him when he was a stranger, visit him when he was sick, etc. This group asks Jesus when was it that they failed to minister to him. Jesus replies "as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me."  [More on Matthew 25 ]

Perhaps Hannity's Bible did not have these pages torn out. Maybe Hannity has a special unabridged version of the Bible which contains heretofore unknown modifications to Matthew 25:31-46.

What we can call the "Hannity exception clauses" perhaps provide that the sick must be ministered to "but only when such sick person is at a level of distress requiring emergency room care;" that the stranger must be welcomed "except when said stranger lacks proper immigration papers;" and of course, the catch-all Hannity exception clause: "and all such requirements to minister to those in need shall not apply when the neediness of said individuals is the result of their choices in life, including their failure to secure a more advanced level of education."  [Is there a reserved spot in Hell with Hannity's name on it?]

Why is Hannity a Hypocrite?

One of Hannity's most repeated mantras is how Bill Clinton, by having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, disgraced himself and sullied the dignity of the Oval Office. Fair enough, although perhaps not still worthy of repeating ad nauseam.

In remarkable contrast is how Hannity warmly embraces and expresses deep respect for the likes of Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston, political commentators on Hannity & Colmes.  Hannity turns a blind eye to the equal, if not worse indiscretions of these two Fox co-employees. 

At the same time that Gingrich was blasting Clinton for his dalliance with Lewinsky, Gingrich was having a much more serious affair with a young Congressional aide. The affair was serious, indeed: Gingrich divorced his second wife and married the aide!

Gingrich was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives at the time. As such, he was second in line for the Presidency. Quite a high and mighty office, yet Hannity apparently doesn't feel that Gingrich's behavior disgraced Gingrich and sullied the dignity of that office.

Of course, one could also mention the cruel treatment Gingrich reportedly subjected his first wife to: insisting that she discuss terms of the divorce he was seeking while she was in her hospital bed recovering from cancer surgery. 

It's surprising that Gingrich's serial marriage lifestyle itself doesn't also come under fire from Hannity, a professedly devout Catholic who one would expect to look down upon divorce.

Bob Livingston was elected Speaker of the House, but never took office.  He chose to resign that position, as well as his seat in the House, when his own extramarital affairs were disclosed.

It's true that Clinton lied under oath about his affair, while Gingrich and Livingston did not.  However, it is the moral aspect of Clinton's conduct that Hannity harps upon.

Could it be that Hannity incessantly criticizes Bill Clinton, while ignoring equal if not worse immorality by Gingrich and Livingston, because of Hannity's ideological affinity with the latter two adulterers?

Hard-hearted, and hypocritical, that just about sums up Sean Hannity.

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You can tell Hannity what you think of him at  One idea would be to copy the web address of this article, send it to Hannity and tell him you agree with it.

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On July 9, in a segment on the Gary Condit scandal, Hannity moralized that the President as well as Congressmen need to "leave the young interns alone." Was Hannity forgetting that his next guest was Newt Gingrich, adulterer and Congressional aide affair veteran?

Certainly, one assumed, Hannity would steer clear of the subject of Condit while interviewing Gingrich. So a great many viewers' jaws must have dropped when right off the bat, Hannity asked Gingrich for his take on the Condit situation.

Wouldn't it have been a treat had Gingrich responded, "Well, you know Sean, in my personal experience with having an affair with a young government worker..."

In reality, Gingrich at least knew enough to finesse his answer, and to avoid any self-righteous moralizing.

Could Hannity be so dense as to be unaware of the hilarity involved in asking Newt Gingrich to evaluate Gary Condit's behavior?


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